Better For You Sweet & Sour Chicken

05bsweetsourchickenbzloThe nice folk at Kraft send me recipes just about every day, obviously featuring their fine products; and the day they sent me this sweet and sour chicken recipe, featuring their Catalina French Dressing, I knew I had to try it.


Well… because I make my own version of Catalina dressing, with a lot less sugar than most recipes call for, and, I added a bunch of extra veggies, just because.

Catalina Dressing:
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/2 onion, chopped
•1/4 tsp paprika
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 tsp dry mustard
01baddoilbzlo•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•1/4 cup cider vinegar
•1/3 cup ketchup – try this recipe
•1/2 cup safflower oil

Sweet & Sour Chicken:
•1 lb frozen pearl onions
•10 oz shredded carrots
•3 celery stalks, chopped
•6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
•2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
•2/3 cup Catalina French dressing
01ccatalinabzlo•1/2 cup low sodium tamari
•2 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•2 tsp powdered ginger
•2 (8 oz) cans pineapple chunks in juice
•1 tbsp corn starch
•Green bell pepper strips
•Red bell pepper strips
•1 can (4 oz) sliced ‘shrooms, drained
•Maraschino cherries
•1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No problem! Simply substitute two tablespoons of good sherry and mebbe one teaspoon (to taste) of your favorite hot sauce.

03bchickensaucebzloFirst things first; make the Catalina dressing by adding the sugar, onion, ketchup, vinegar, and seasonings to a blender.

Pulse to combine, then, with the blender running, slowly stream the oil in through the hole in the lid until it has been absorbed and the dressing has emulsified.

Transfer to a lidded jar and stash in the fridge until needed.

04cslurrybzloMake the sauce by whisking the Catalina together with the brown sugar, tamari, Sherry Peppers Sauce, and ginger.

Cut the chicken thighs into chunks and add to a slow cooker with the pearl onion, shredded carrots, and celery.

Pour the sauce over the top, stir, then cover and cook on low for five hours.

Drain the pineapple and ‘shrooms, saving the pineapple juice.

04dsweetsourchickenbzloStir the pineapple, ‘shrooms, and green and red peppers into the chicken mixture, switch the slow cooker to high, and cook for another 30 minutes.

Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved pineapple juice until smooth, then stir into the slow cooker along with the cherries and the crushed red pepper.

Cook, still on high, for another 30 minutes.

Serve over rice. I added freshly chopped parsley and crispy rice noodles because, why not?

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